Dachshunds: Small but Mighty

Wire-haired dachshunds, along with short and long-haired dachshunds (also known as dachshunds or dachshunds), are classic German hunting dogs that were used in a similar form by the ancient Germans and Gauls. There are many positive and negative prejudices about short-legged dogs: They are considered loud and persistent barkers and also hunt large animals. Here you can find out what to expect when purchasing a German dachshund.

The Appearance of the Dog Breed

Wire-haired dachshunds, like their short-haired and long-haired counterparts, are easily recognizable by their unmistakable external features. The physique and face are similar for all coat variations, with the head shape of the long-haired dachshund being more like that of a greyhound. The body is about 1.7 to 1.8 times as long as it is high and the legs are short and curved, with the dachshund having a significantly more athletic build than other short-legged dogs such as corgis. In the breed standard of the German Teckelclub e.V., the sizes are not classified based on the height at the withers, but based on the chest circumference:

Height and weight of the dachshund

  • Normal dachshunds have a chest circumference of more than 35 centimeters but do not weigh more than 9 kilograms.
  • Miniature dachshunds have a chest circumference of between 30 and 35 centimeters and weigh 4 – 5 kilograms.
  • Rabbit dachshunds have a chest circumference of fewer than 30 centimeters and weigh around 3.5 kilograms.

Characteristics of Wire-Haired, Long-Haired, and Short-Haired Dachshunds in Detail


The elongated head narrows towards the snout without appearing pointed. The strong and long scissor bite is striking: the fangs are well developed and the narrow muzzle can be opened wide. The nose is black or dark brown in color and well defined. The neck and head are carried high and not weasel-like.

Eyes and ears

The eyebrows are clearly pronounced and have long brush hairs in the wire-haired dachshund. They go flat into the bridge of the nose and forehead. A brown iris and attentive gaze make the dachshund appear friendly and intelligent. The long floppy ears narrow towards the tip, but overall appear round and elongated.


The sternum protrudes clearly and the short forelegs lie at the side of the body. When viewed from the side, the forelegs cover the lowest point of the chest. The straight back ends in strongly muscled loins with a medium-length tail and short hind legs. In the back third of the tail, some dachshunds have a kink that is not considered an aesthetic defect.


The dog breed is characterized by broad and strong fore and hind legs, which appear very short compared to other breeds (distance between ground and chest about one-third of the total height at the withers). Thanks to their elongated shape, dachshunds are excellent at squeezing into wildlife burrows and pursuing them through dense undergrowth. They stand securely on their well-padded paw pads and the toes are close together.

Coat Structure and Colors in the Dachshund

The coat of the short-haired dachshund

Short-haired dachshunds have dense, close-lying fur all over their bodies. The hair is thick and shiny. Slightly longer guard hairs can occur on the tail. Short-haired dachshunds come in all colors typical of dachshunds.

The fur of the wire-haired dachshund

The fur of the wire-haired dachshund is only slightly longer than that of the short-haired dachshund, but it has a wiry and slightly curly structure and a dense undercoat. On the eyebrows, on the muzzle, and on the lower belly line, they have bushy, longer hair that is often contrasted with a lighter color. The bushy mustache distinguishes wire-haired dachshunds from their short- or long-haired counterparts at first glance.

The fur of the long-haired dachshund

Long-haired dachshunds also have a dense undercoat and thick, glossy hair that hangs long on the ears, neck, and the entire underside of the body. The long hairs form a clear flag on the underside of the tail.

Color variations at a glance

  • Boar color: From light to dark boar color, multicolored fur with a high proportion of brown and gray (similar to wild boar).
  • Tiger dachshunds: Dark tigers have gray fur with black spots or spots and brown tan markings. Brown and red tigers have a brown/red nose and brown/red spots and markings on a light gray background.
  • Monochrome: From dark brown to red to yellow. Small black, brown, or white spots on the back are permitted, and all color variations also occur in the brindle.
  • Bicolor: Black or tan ground color with tan or yellow markings on muzzle, eyebrows, paws, insides of legs, and underside of the belly.

Nature and Character of the Dachshund

Dachshunds are fun-loving and active dogs that never lose their hunting instincts and want to be kept busy around the clock. They are very confident and fear neither wild animals nor larger dogs or people. Due to their long history as hunting dogs, dachshunds, as family dogs, need good training and plenty of opportunities to keep them busy so that instinctive behaviors are not acted out in the wrong place.

The dachshund is a lap dog in the house

If dachshunds are kept purely as family or companion dogs, they need a lot of attention and would like to play and rummage around all day long. A (high and safe) fenced yard is therefore advantageous so that your dog can exercise enough. The dogs love to be cuddled and like to spend time with their owner on the sofa. They get along well with children but don’t put up with everything.

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